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Property listings in summer slowdown

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The number of new properties being listed for sale slumped in July as the summer slowdown took full effect.

Data compiled by online estate agents House Simple found that the market slowed dramatically last month. The number of listings across the UK dropped 13.2%, with London down almost 15%.

The survey looked at 100 major towns in the UK, plus the 32 London boroughs, and found only one-sixth of locations had seen an increase in listings.

The two major Scottish cities were hit particularly hard with listing dropping by almost a third (30.3%) in Glasgow and 29.7% in Edinburgh.

In England it was Milton Keynes (down 28.2%) and Sunderland (down 28.1%) who were hit hardest. Bromley was the only London borough to see an increase in new property listing, but this rise was less than 1%.

A quarter of all the towns and cities that saw large falls were located in the South West of England, the firm said.

The market had not experienced any boost after the general election in May and the housing crisis continues to worsen, it added.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple, said: “Any hope that sellers were finally returning to the market seems to have been a vain one for the time being. A boost to new stock levels in June suggested that we were finally starting to see some movement from sellers, but that momentum seems to have been short-lived.

“The general election, which the market hoped would provide a catalyst for sellers, is long gone and property stock numbers remain well below normal levels.

“Why are homeowners not moving is the $64,000 question. Is it because they can’t afford to as property prices have risen out of reach of them? Or maybe they’re not confident about market conditions, despite the strength of the economy and the highly competitive mortgage rates on offer at the moment? Somehow, sellers need to be encouraged back to the market because there are buyers galore waiting when they do. It’s a very attractive market right now for motivated sellers.”

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